Obtaining visitor tax refund from Canada

Jul 9th, 2005, 05:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 590
We always cross via car at the Highgate/Phillipsburg crossing (Vermont). We stop at the duty free store at the border and do it right there. Very painless.
bm is offline  
Jul 9th, 2005, 08:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Get the official form and instructions at the website mentioned above. Everything you need to know is clearly explained. You should not rely on what you hear and read elsewhere. Note that most lodgings will give you an extra copy of your receipt for the tax refund and that purchase receipts must be STAMPED before leaving Canada if you plan to mail them.

We always drive so have the refund processed at the duty-free (since you have to join the same line to get your receipts stamped anyway). No matter how long the line, it moves quickly. You must have anything over $C200 with you to be inspected sometimes (they will wait while you retrieve it from your car). They have forms if you need one.

We take the refund in Canadian dollars and save it for our next trip so as not to lose anything exchange rate wise.
djkbooks is offline  
Sep 9th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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Posts: 2,568
With the helpful advice I received after I posted my question two months ago, I was easily able to submit the proper forms to Revenue Canadia, and yesterday received a check for $147 US dollars (from a claim for about $180 Canadian). Just as Judy predicted -- in six weeks I received a check in my home currency. Thanks, Judy, and I'm now searching all your advice about Alberta because we hope to go there next year.

Since we left Canada by ferry, the requirement for getting merchandise receipts stamped did not apply to us, so that was one hassle we avoided (but will be prepared for next year when we fly home from Calgary).

The shop where we made our only large purchase (!150 CAN, plus
kayd is offline  
Sep 9th, 2005, 06:31 AM
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Sorry for the errant keystroke that sent the above before I finished . . .

Two points where I thought we might have problems, though:

The shop where we made our only large purchase ($150 CAN, so $22 GST!) did not have its tax ID number on the receipt, so I phoned them from home to get it and just wrote it on the receipt.

Though the Revenue Canada brochure says that the original ferry boarding card must be included with the refund application, we had given ours to the ferry agent as we boarded. On the advice of the ferry's purser, we sent instead both the ferry ticket (that had no date or identifying information on it) and our AMEX receipt, which did have some details.

Both the receipt with handwritten tax ID number and the substitutes for the boarding pass were accepted without question. Thanks, Canada, you make us want to return often!
kayd is offline  
Sep 9th, 2005, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,088
Thanks for the refund reminder, I'll get it in the mail today.
ronkala is offline  
Jul 16th, 2006, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 25
I've just found this thread, nearly a year after the last post, and I had no idea about any sort of visitor refund. My husband is visiting Canada in 2 weeks for 5 weeks duration and staying at B&Bs in Toronto. Can someone please advise what the refund is? Is it a tax or GST refund? And how is the amount determined? Thanks.
AussiegallovesUSA is offline  
Jul 16th, 2006, 05:05 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 9
I read a posting somewhere that said if a hotel reservation was made (paid for?) from the US instead of when you get to Canada, the GST wasn't added. Did I get that right? When I talked to the Delta Chelsea hotel in Toronto, they didn't know anything about it.
Jgsbro is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 12:32 PM
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We just returned from Montreal on Friday. Hotel receipts in excess of $200 qualify, for short-term (less than 30 days') stays.

Other eligible receipts must be over 50 Canadian (we had one for 49.99 & it was rejected!).

Taxes there are exhorbitant. We paid $30 in taxes on a $150 meal (that's 20%). Restaurant food is ineligible for tax rebate.
Jul 18th, 2006, 05:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,568
Aussiegal-- my post above gave the link to the Revenue Canada website with the refund request form, which spells out the details.
Generally, if you have paid a tax that is eligible for refund, it will be itemized on your receipt. Smaller B&Bs do not collect the tax, but larger ones do. Just save all receipts.
However, as you say the trip will be for 5 weeks, you may not be eligible for the
"short-term" rule. But do read the instructions carefuly; there might be something there for you.

kayd is offline  

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